Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mantong Villager Shot

Fighting has been ongoing in the Namhsan area between the Burmese Military and the rebel insurgency groups, KIA and TNLA. Travel for local people has been made difficult as armed forces have blocked access to local roads in order to gain control over the area.
On May 20th the Burmese Military had blocked a local road and set up a security check point. Two local residents who were traveling by motorcycle were asked to stop and ordered by the soldiers to turn off their engine. The two men were terrified about what the soldier would do and so made an attempt to drive off in order to escape the wrath of the soldiers. The soldiers shot at the motorcyclists. The passenger was shot to the head and fell off the bike and the driver escaped unharmed and drove to a nearby house to tell them of the events that just happened. The dead mans family waited three days until the soldiers had moved on to find the body and only then could they perform a traditional funeral. The family was distraught when they saw the extent of the damage the bullet wounds had to the head. The Infantry Battalion responsible for this was Infantry No. 501 which is normally based in Kyaukmae Township.
Local people are outraged at the continual blocking of roads and the interrogation they face when trying to travel from one place to another. Local people say the situation is becoming worse “when they stop to check people their behavior and attitude is often wild and unpredictable. They can be extremely rude and attack people without reason and often demand payment from local people in order to pass. The Burmese soldiers are unhappy about losing fellow soldiers in the conflict and take their vengeance out on innocent people” Most travelers and traders try to avoid these checkpoints but often have no choice if they wish to go about their daily business.
In relation to the above case in May this year it has been reported that two more villagers were murdered by Infantry Battalion No. 130 near Moe Nwe village, Mantong Township. There have been multiple reports of murders perpetrated by Military soldiers that have been covered up by the authorities and many villagers have been threatened by the soldiers not to speak out about these events and are afraid about what will happen if they talk.



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